Episode:Prayer—Nature and Evolution (Part 6)

From Symmetry of Soul

One must do something as well as be something; the soul of man requires spiritual exercise as well as spiritual nourishment. Jesus often took his apostles away by themselves for short periods to engage in meditation and prayer, but for the most part he kept them in service-contact with the multitudes.

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Keywords: Urantia, Prayer, Mysticism, Ecstasy, Inspiration

Summary by Kermit

with final edits by Ann


We spent the beginning of the broadcast unpacking the last two paragraphs of section 6. These last two paragraphs reinforce the “destiny of prayer.” Many persons in this day and age are not ready to take on this destiny of prayer—the further enhancement of the spiritualization of society, being still dependent upon the earlier evolutionary stages of prayer. This evolutionary technique works progressively on both the individual and the collective. The revelation in its top down perspective illuminates the cosmic fullness of prayer as it is performed in the light of scientific facts, philosophic wisdom, intellectual sincerity, and spiritual faith. And presented in parallel and more accessible terms as Jesus taught his disciples to pray—honestly, unselfishly, with fairness, and without doubting.

We also examined further the place of prayer in the two groups of the four indispensable factors in, fostering the progress of early and advancing civilization which we’ve mentioned in previous broadcasts. These are given by the revelators in various places throughout the revelation. (early civilization factors: slavery, war, social classes, and the profit motive; advancing civilization factors: true religion, true monogamy, prayer and God consciousness). Prayer is described as an indispensable factor in the progress and preservation of advancing civilization. So why isn’t prayer included in both “sets” of these indispensable factors for progressing civilization? Civilization is a product of choice, an engagement of personality. Prayer serves to preserve early religious civilization. Being initiated in our evolutionary nature by our creator, it is more accurately an inescapable factor rather than indispensable factor in early civilization. But true prayer, chosen by advancing mankind, is truly indispensable to the progress of advancing civilization.

To prevent a people in the clan or tribal level of human development from passing through the early indispensable stages of slavery, war, etc., is to consign them to stasis of development as evidenced by the consequences of the Lucifer rebellion. Lucifer and his lieutenants in their attempt to avoid these troublesome stages of evolution precipitated nothing less than an orgy of darkness and death. Only when a people attain the level of nationhood can these indispensables to early civilization be left behind. Acceptance of these difficult periods on our world as the Father’s Way mightily challenges the ideals of spiritually conscious individuals. But such is necessary to appreciate the more subtle and profound truths of the wisdom and value of evolution as God’s creativity in time.

91:7. Mysticism, Ecstasy, and Inspiration

In this section the author and our SoS team provide great clarification concerning these three most misunderstood phenomena in the religious lives of individuals. They exist today because of the truths found in these three expressions of religious practice, otherwise they would have died out.


“Mysticism as the technique of the cultivation of the consciousness of the presence of God, is altogether praiseworthy, but when such practices lead to social isolation and culminate in religious fanaticism, they are all but reprehensible.” Meditation can facilitate the mortal mind’s contact with spirit (the Adjuster). Because spirit energy is self-animating, unless this inner activity is balanced by service contact with your fellows in the outer life, serious psychic imbalance can ensue leading to isolationism, escapism, asceticism, and fanaticism. The real danger with regard to these kinds of practices is the tendency for devotees to see them as complete unitary remedies for the problems of our complex lives in a triune environment. It is the wholehearted and loving service to one’s fellows which provides the balanced addition of individuality in its association with the cultivation of spirit energy (unity) that reflect a triune reality instead of a purely spiritual reality. The soul of man requires spiritual exercise as well as spiritual nourishment.


We are told that ecstasy is permissible when resulting form sane antecedents. Unfortunately, ecstatic experiences are more often the outgrowth of emotional influences than manifestations of deep spiritual character. Every vivid psychologic presentiment and intense emotional experience should not be regarded as a divine revelation or spiritual communication. Genuine spiritual ecstasy is usually characterized by calmness and emotional control, peace that passes all understanding.

The author made plain that true prophetic vision is a superpsychologic presentiment (above the mind). It was suggested that prophetic vision represents a visitation by a celestial messenger as opposed to a communication from one’s indwelling Adjuster. However, this explanation was not unanimously accepted.


So-called inspiration is usually described as coming from an outside source (foreign) rather than an uprising from the subconscious or the stimulus of the superconscious. However, “unrestrained mystical enthusiasm and rampant religious ecstasy are not the credentials of inspiration, supposedly divine credentials.”

The author gives a list of seven items which can serve as a test of these strange religious experiences of mysticism, ecstasy, and inspiration. These validating fruits of the religious experience in the lives of such devotees encompass better physical health, improved mental efficiency and practicality, fuller socialization of religious experience, and spiritualized day-by-day-living in commonplace routine mortal existence. Additionally, these practitioners should demonstrate enhanced love for and appreciation of truth, beauty, and goodness as well increased spiritual insight—God consciousness. Further should these experiences lead to the conservation of currently recognized social, moral, ethical, and spiritual values to be considered legitimate.

But as we are reminded, prayer has no real association with these exceptional religious experiences. The danger associated with overmuch private praying is corrected and prevented by group praying.